The summer of 2019 brings along with it a new release of Stagg Jr.. Coming in at 132.3 proof, this year’s Jr. punches above the weight class of it’s namesake George T. Stagg which came in at 116.9 proof–which is the lowest the big-hitter from BTAC’s annual release has ever been.
Nose – Fruit and vanilla pop out in the lead, and move into a swirling melody of cherries with toasted oak. Doesn’t contain the ethanol punch I expected from this proof. If you’ll tolerate some whimsical indulgence, I’d go as far as to say there’s a note of what I would describe as “old warehouse” or dried barnwood, but in a pleasant and nostalgic way.
Taste – First thought is how it doesn’t drink to it’s proof. This is complex and rich, and very nice. Surprising even. There is the vanilla from the nose, but the fruit is stronger. Cherries in particular, but mixed with other dark fruit and a bit of spice.
Finish – The spice and enjoyable funk from the nose ends up finishing nicely as light leather and wood mix with something between table syrup and caramel.
The Bourbon Finder Grade: B+
Thoughts – The things that stand out the most here are: the complexity, the easy sipping for the amount of proof points, and the overall value ($49 in Maine). For a limited-release allocated bourbon, you’ll have one hell of a time beating Stagg Jr. (batch 12).
Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is. Our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible, and as such we decided early on that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us. We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day. Pour a bit and enjoy, these are the good old days of whiskey!